Technology is improving and becoming more and more integrated in our lives at an alarming rate. Things like iPhones and Fitbits may feel like they’ve been around forever but it wasn’t that long ago that they were first introduced into society. That means if robots designed to wipe out humanity were introduced to society, it would still seem like they’ve been around forever even after they find a way to kill your grandmother and take over her life, becoming a hard candy flinging cyborg in the process.
The US Navy, however, has a new robot in its arsenal that withstand deadly flames to help fight fires at sea. SAFFiR (the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot) is a 5-feet, 10-inch collection of metallic parts shaped in a familiar human form that can walk through fire and smoke while battling massive blazes. It can even operate firefighting equipment, open doors and board ships just like a human. The robot, developed by staffers at Virginia Tech University, also has infrared stereovision sensors and a rotating laser that can help it see through dense smoke that our weak human eyes just can’t penetrate without suffering major damage.
Of course, just like any machine, it does have some flaws. As of now, SAFFiR can’t stand on its own and can only operate when it’s tied to some kind of tether but it’s still an impressive machine and a scary step forward for humanity. We’re not saying that SAFFiR won’t be useful to the US Navy but we remember the last time we heard about a robot that could upright through hot flames while retaining its original shape.